Did a Newspaper Ad for the Ku Klux Klan Praise Donald Trump?

A purported KKK recruitment flyer found in Alabama praised the policies of President Donald Trump.

  • Published 5 April 2018

Claim

An ad for the Ku Klux Klan found in a 2018 newspaper praised the policies of President Donald Trump.

Rating

What's True

In June 2017 a Mississippi chapter of the Ku Klux Klan distributed a flyer to some residents of Mobile, Alabama that — in an effort to recruit "white Christians" — praised the policies of Donald Trump.

What's False

The document was not an "ad" placed in a newspaper, and the incident took place in 2017 and not 2018.

Origin

In April 2018, several Facebook accounts began sharing memes alleging that an ad placed in a newspaper by the Ku Klux Klan had praised President Donald Trump’s policies:

The image included with this text was a genuine photograph of a flyer produced and distributed by the American Christian Nights, a Mississippi-based chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. It was not, however, a newspaper ad, nor was it from 2018.

The pictured “ad” began with the word “Trump” in large bold letters followed by a series of bullet points praising the president’s efforts to “stop illegal immigration” and “the influx of muslems [sic].” The flyers were placed in plastic bags (not a newspaper) that were filled with white rice (a white supremacist symbol commonly included with KKK recruitment flyers) and left outside the homes of residents in a Mobile, Alabama neighborhood.

A 19 June 2017 report from AL.com described the incident and included a photograph of the flyer which was later reproduced in the memes:

The Mobile Police Department is investigating a series of KKK fliers praising President Donald Trump being distributed in a west Mobile neighborhood this past weekend. On Monday afternoon, Mobile Police Department spokesman Donald Wallace confirmed that they are investigating the incident.

The KKK fliers, sent in clear ziploc bags, with a letter and white rice inside, appeared outside of homes in the Autumn Ridge neighborhood just before 4:00 p.m. on Saturday (June 17) afternoon. […] At this time the Mobile police said the investigation is ongoing.

We reached out to the Mobile Police Department to confirm the details of these reports and to see if any follow-up investigation had been undertaken. A summary of the case provided to us by the department confirmed the incident but suggested the investigation had concluded that no crime had been committed:

On June 17, 2017 police responded to the 6700 block of Harness Way for a suspicious call. Upon arrival, the complainant stated he found a Ziplock bag with rice and a flyer from the American Christian Knights KKK. Upon further investigation, officers observed several more of the flyers throughout the neighborhood including Autumn Ridge Apartments.

No additional complaints were received after the initial report. The type of incident/offense remained suspicious circumstances. Distributing the flyer was not considered a crime, especially being that no threat/harm to others was made.